Boys Volleyball Continues Dominance With Another 3-0 Win; Kalter and Schwartz Combined for 40 Kills to PA Lead Offense

Co-Captain Alex Schwartz ’07 led the way with 21 kills on Saturday, while Peter Yao ’07 tallied 40 assists. These performances led the Andover Volleyball team to defeat Choate in a rematch of last year’s prep school title match. Andover won the match 3-0 with final scores in the three games of 30-28, 30-27, and 34-32. Andover entered the game undermanned, missing starting middle blocker Ekow Essel ’07 due to college visits. Menelik Washington ’09 ably replaced Essel and recorded two kills while hitting six of six. Game one began with three early lead changes, but after Jason Zhu ’07 put Andover ahead 8-5, the team never fell behind for the remainder of the first game. Though Choate did tie the game at 11-11, 13-13, and 14-14, Andover finished the game with a 30-28 win. Choate jumped out to an early 6-2 lead at the beginning of the second game. Andover fought its way back into the game, however, and tied the score at 10-10 and again at 11-11. Andover took an 18-15 lead only to be once again tied at 18-18. Andover built the biggest lead of the match at 27-22 and would go on to win 30-27. Choate put Andover’s depth to the test in game three and controlled the game early against a fatigued Andover team. Choate’s tough defense challenged the conditioning of the temporary nine-man rotation caused by Essel’s absence. Andover fell behind at 16-8 and 20-14 as Choate fought to force a fourth game. Though behind for the majority of the game, Andover tied the game in the final points at 27-27. The team received three points that Choate defended. After the score tied once again at 32-32 on Co-Captain Howie Kalter’s ’07 weak side hit, Andover served the game out to win 34-32. Yao continued to set his teammates accurately and consistently as he recorded a team high of 40 assists in addition to three digs. On the front line, Brian Watson ’08 had five stuffs and four kills. Jason Zhu served a perfect 12 for 12 and also received 19 of the 23 balls that came his way. Co-captain Kalter recorded 19 kills while serving three aces. Kalter successfully received 18 of 19 balls. Though several players performed exceptionally, Andover did not play as cohesively as it usually does. Andover made many more errors than usual, in part because of Choate’s hustling defense. Despite the less-than-perfect play, Andover proved to be too explosive for Choate’s defense and maintained its undefeated status. The 40 kills combined by Captains Schwartz and Kalter proved crucial in a very close match. With the win, Andover remained undefeated with a record of 4-0. The team has yet to lose a game, having won every match this year 3-0. The team will have a long week of practice heading into a rematch with Northfield Mount Hermon this Saturday. In the last match between the two teams, Andover beat N.M.H. 3-0. N.M.H. heads into the match with a 1-3 record coming off its first win of the season against Loomis. Andover will be ready for a strong game.